Urban Indicators Project 2013: Study Findings

To review the performance of cities a set of indicators have been selected and defined. Data was collected to populate these indicators and the SoCR was published in 2004, 2006 and 2011. Over this period the indicators, methods of collecting the data and the approach used to write up the reports have evolved. Unfortunately, the SACN has seen that the results emanating from the SoCR have varied over time. Furthermore, the SACN require more regular data to enable them to report more frequently in knowledge products other than the flagship SoCR. This situation therefore requires careful review with clear suggestions about remedying the situation, particularly as the next SoCR is due in 2016.


Reflecting on this process, the SACN recognises the importance of monitoring the performance of cities within a fast-changing South Africa where the majority of people now live in Metropolitan areas. There is therefore a need for more effective public management of Metros and opportunities for broad citizen engagement. In this regard the SoCR and other knowledge products produced by SACN have important functions for informing planning and management decisions. SACN also recognizes the need for credible data to populate performance indicators. Furthermore, there is need to identify data custodians, review methods pertaining to how data is collected, and to establish institutional, technical and resource mechanisms by which complete and credible data can be collected and provided on an on-going basis. This report engages these issues.


The overarching aim of the project was to conduct a scoping and planning exercise that would lead to the establishment of a business plan. The business plan would need to provide a convincing and pragmatic approach that covers institutional issues, indicators and the sourcing of data to populate them, and a costing of such an exercise.